Driver speeds through railway barriers

A Lurgan taxi driver who drove through the railway gates while they were closing is being used as an example of the dangers of rail tracks.

The red vehicle with a taxi sign on top was seen overtaking a car which had stopped at the William St gates and swerving around the closing barriers at speed.

Taxi drives through railway gates at Lurgan

Taxi drives through railway gates at Lurgan

According to a Translink spokesperson, the driver has since been prosecuted and fined.

Translink NI Railways revealed that in the past year, (July 2012 - June 2013) it has taken action against individuals regarding 76 safety related incidents along the rail network in Northern Ireland, totalling fines in excess of £9,000.

The majority of these were dealt with through the courts, and represent almost half of all prosecutions made by the company over the past twelve months.

While this figure is lower than it has been for several years, the reduction is attributable to the closure of the rail line for track upgrade works between Coleraine and Londonderry for 8 months until the end of March this year, as the majority of level crossing misuse incidents by motorists and private crossing users take place on that stretch of track.

General Manager, Rail at Translink, Mal McGreevy commented, “Although these figures are lower than in previous years, which is encouraging, it is likely that the reduction is due to the upgrade work carried out on the Londonderry line last year and early this year. Since the line reopened, there have been sixteen incidents of motorists attempting to beat the barrier at Castlerock and all of them may face prosecution.

“In a bid to keep rail safety to the forefront during the summer months, last month we highlighted the issue of pedestrian trespass on the rail network since the beginning of June, which by August 5th had totalled 138 incidents. We are reminding motorists and pedestrians that CCTV is in operation at stations, railway crossings and on all trains. These monitor inappropriate behavior and, in an effort to keep everyone safe, Translink will prosecute anyone caught damaging property, trespassing or endangering others.

“Safety continues to be a priority for Translink and our DEADLINE campaign is currently running to remind motorists and pedestrians of the dangers associated with the misuse of level crossings. The rules are simple – don’t use the tracks as a shortcut; on the platform always wait behind the yellow line; never mess around near the tracks; use railway crossings safely and motorists should never be tempted to jump the lights or beat the barriers at railway crossings.”